Who would have predicted the humble face mask would become THE accessory for 2020? As masks become part of our everyday lives in defence against coronavirus, some of us may need to adapt our skincare routines to deal with potential issues.
Whether you're wearing a mask all day for work, or just for commuting and shopping, you might have noticed your skin reacting to being covered up. As masks are mandatory in many places at the present time, we've taken a look at some potential solutions to help soothe inflamed skin.
First of all, DO stick to a basic skincare routine. As your face is more likely to sweat under a mask, fabric or single-use, your skin will benefit from a very simple cleansing and moisturising routine on a daily basis.
However, DON'T go mad - basic is key here! This is not the time to introduce alcohol-heavy toners, strong anti-ageing products or harsh acne treatments. A gentle, hydrating cleanser and a soothing cream moisturiser will be sufficient. (This writer likes Weleda Skin Food, Avène Cicalfate, and La Roche-Posay Cicaplast, but any cream without heavy fragrance should do).
DO let your skin breathe when you can - sunlight in moderation can also be good for sore and acne-prone skin, but DON'T forget SPF! (And yes, we know sunshine can be in short supply in the Grand Duchy sometimes - as our weather reports can attest to).
DO remember to wash your reusable masks regularly - although we are sure you are doing so anyway! Try washing them with washing liquid or powder designed for sensitive skin, and skip the fabric softener - it can irritate your face with prolonged wear.
DON'T wear a thick, heavy moisturising cream if you're using surgical-grade masks, especially around the edge of the mask - it will make the mask slip and it won't seal properly.
For healthcare workers wearing PPE, skin abrasions and bruising can be common after long shifts, particularly around the bridge of the nose. If this applies to you, DO try... nappy cream?! Seriously - skincare queen Caroline Hirons recommended using a barrier cream or a thick SPF with zinc oxide to protect abrasions. If you don't believe me, check out her Instagram - it might come in extremely useful!
DON'T skip the hydration! Drinking plenty of liquids is something we should all be doing anyway (although heaven knows it's not always feasible!) and increasing your water intake will help make up for the dryness under the mask. You could also use a facial hydrating spray for work breaks to cool your face down and replenish your skin's hydration levels.
Finally, if your skin is getting you down, DON'T be afraid to seek medical assistance. Masks are here to stay for the foreseeable future, and a qualified dermatologist will be able to advise.